Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A few things...

I was in the Bay Area last week visiting family on vacation. Glamorous lifestyle? Yes. Of course. I ride only in the finest Hummer H7's (never heard of them? You will), outfitted with golden hot tubs, three different satellite providers just because and 26 bottles of 1798 Chambord opened by Napoleon himself. But my life in the seat of luxury (more like making sure my cousin's baby son didn't inadvertently puke on my shirt in Chinatown) is absolutely killing my MLS weekends. So I must, in lieu of a proper Grinder this week, take you through a compendium of the weekend. To the stuff!

#1 - LA just got shown up by a rookie coach and a rookie midfielder. At home. Hey Kobe...

LA's defense is a wreck right now. Todd Dunivant has lost his form. Neither Tommy Meyer or Andrew Boyens has what it takes yet, and AJ DeLaGarza looks awfully suspect without the reigning MLS Defender of the Year by his side. And these weren't just small holes. Kelyn Rowe's opener was created through a laughably huge chasm. Chris Tierney, a defender with a big left foot, shouldn't have been given that kind of berth to creep upfield. Forget Edson Buddle looking pedestrian all the sudden and Robbie Keane looking around wondering when the heck somebody's going to give him service (paging Landon Donovan to the courtesy phone — please replace your hospital gown with a Superman cape). Without some help at the back, LA is stuck.

#2 - Chapter One in what I'm dubbing The Incident Heard Round The Block.

Things work slightly differently in Mexico. I'm not suggesting that country to be a lawless paradise for soccer malcontents who lack nerve-endings in their knuckles. But things happen there. These kinds of things. And these. That kind of violence isn't necessarily the norm, but then again, can you imagine a California Clasico game, for instance, being called off because of gunshots on police? Being slightly inured to the type of real violence that takes lives and robs families, what's a head butt on the road in the antiseptic environs of harmless Toronto? It's sure as hell safer than Torreon.

Anyway, this isn't necessarily a rip on Mexico (unless you want it to be) nor is it a glorification of MLS, just a primer as to where these teams are coming from. Ashtone Morgan received a glancing header... to the head (check out the photos to prove it). MLS being what it is — physical, even harshly so at times, but almost never dirty — Toronto flung into motion, apoplectically, in his defense. And then it was over. I assume SL fans keep up fairly well with the comings and goings of Los Guerreros (an unfortunate name, considering), and so I assume Estadio Corona will be a relatively unfortunate place to be this week. Bring your billy clubs, you Mounties!

#3 - Nick DeLeon! Somebody come up with a nickname that incorporates this kid's hair. I'm thinking the rabid badger. Or perhaps the flaming porcupine. The goals are there so far. It'll be an interesting race between him and Rowe for ROY, I'm betting.

#4 - I am making no apologies for tooting my own horn on predicting Darlington Nagbe as the league's breakout forward of the year. Few MLS forwards, and I daresay none when Nagbe remembers to bring his full toolkit, are as silky and technically proficient. Now if only he could've saved Portland's bacon the rest of the way.

His second goal here, which he takes off his knee, is probably the best we've seen in the league this year. I say probably and not definitely because Jamison Olave could've done more to break it up. But it still gets all the plaudits from me.

#5 - I thought Henry had had an MLS hat trick before last weekend. Welp. Here ya go.

#6 - Philly still can't score. SKC still can't lose. Chivas is 0-3 at home at 1-0 at Rio Tinto. None of those three things surprise me. What did surprise me were Philly fans, home of the angry shout, welcoming back Le Toux with a relatively positive reception. I'm not sure if they've sided against Nowak in this case or just decided to ignore the whole shebang. Either way, surprising.

#7 - I guess we need to start paying attention to San Jose now. Even though the foul that led to Wondo's eventual penalty put-away was softer than a marshmallow that's spent three days at a spa at the Four Seasons Honolulu.

- Will Parchman


UnitedDemon said...

I like "Simba" for Nick DeLeon. Both for the obvious lion connotation from the name and the hair, but also how he's a young player seizing leadership from his less consistent teammates.

And how can you tell me Maicon Santos screamer isn't the best thing you've seen? If he doesn't win goal of the week, justice is dead.

Phil McCracken said...

I think that Andrew Boyens has had enough chances in MLS that we can safely say that he's not good enough to be a starter in this league.

Arena should call Nowak and see if he can swing a trade for Califf who would likely welcome a move back to the west coast.

Will Parchman said...

Re: Maicon Santos' thunderbolt: I favor silk over wrought iron. Just my thing.

I like Simba. Hope it sticks.

Will Parchman said...

And justice officially died when Nagbe beat out Hassli for goal of the year in 2011. I expect nothing but bad decisions from here on out.

jon said...

Re: Goal of the year. Last year was a perfect storm of partisanship with Montero, Nagbe, and Hassli involved. Take Montero out of the equation and Hassli rightly claims it.

Anyway, this week's Nagbe golazo will probably win and having been standing more or less directly behind him when he hit it, I can't complain. For it to come out of nothing and with it hitting net in the North End in front of the Army, the roar was louder than any goal last year.